Paul Mitchell’s Book of Religious Quotations,
2002 edition

Letter F

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ALL OR NOTHING: "Saving faith is an all-or-nothing phenomenon. ...Reliance that also looks elsewhere for support really is not reliance at all; trust that is not willing to accept what someone says is not trust at all. In the same way, trust in Christ that also tries to look elsewhere for help for salvation really is not trust in Christ at all." (Winfried Corduan, No Doubt About It, Broadman & Holman, 1997, p18)


30-100 AD CLEMENT OF ROME: "It is necessary, therefore, that we be prompt in the practice of good works. For He forewarns us, 'Behold, the Lord comes and His reward is before His face, to render to every man according to his work.' ... Let us therefore earnestly strive to be found in the number of those who wait for Him, in order that we may share in His promised reward. But how, beloved ones, shall we do this? By fixing our thoughts on God by faith. By earnestly seeking the things that are pleasing and acceptable to Him. By doing the things that are in harmony with His blameless will. And by following the way of truth, casting away from us all unrighteousness and sin." (Clement of Rome Letter to the Corinthians chaps. 34, 35 [companion of the apostle Paul and overseer of the church in Rome])

69-156 AD POLYCARP: "He who raised Him up from the dead will also raise us up-if we do His will and walk in His commandments and love what He loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness." (Polycarp, personal companion of the apostle John, Letter to the Philippians chap. 2)

125 AD BARNABAS: "He who keeps these [commandments], will be glorified in the kingdom of God; but he who chooses other things will be destroyed with his works." (Barnabas Letter of Barnabas chap. 21)

125 AD HERMAS: "Only those who fear the Lord and keep His commandments have life with God. But as to those who do not keep His commandments, there is no life in them.... All, therefore, who despise Him and do not follow His commands deliver themselves to death, and each will be guilty of his own blood. But I implore you to obey His commands, and you will have a cure for your former sins. " (Hermas Shepherd bk. 2, comm. 7; bk. 3, sim. 10, chap. 2)

110-165AD JUSTIN MARTYR: "We have been taught...that He accepts only those who imitate the virtues that reside in Him- self­restraint, justice, and love of mankind.... And so we have received [this teaching] that if men by their works show themselves worthy of His design' they are deemed worthy of reigning in company with Him, being delivered from corruption and suffering." (Justin First Apology chap. 107, written before 150 A.D.)

190 AD Clement of Alexandria: "The Word, having unveiled the truth, showed to men the summit of salvation, so that either repenting they might be saved, or refusing to obey, they might be condemned. This is the proclamation of righteousness: to those who obey, rejoicing; to those who disobey, condemnation." (Clement Exhortation to the Heathen chap. 11)

190 AD Clement of Alexandria: "Whoever obtains [the truth] and distinguishes himself in good works shall gain the prize of everlasting life.... Some people correctly and adequately understand how [God provides necessary power], but attaching slight importance to the works that lead to salvation, they fail to make the necessary preparation for attaining the objects of their hope." (Clement Rich Man chaps. 1, 2)

185-255 AD ORIGEN: "The soul... [will] be rewarded according to what it deserves, being destined to obtain either an inheritance of eternal life and blessedness, if its actions shall have procured this for it, or to be delivered up to eternal fire and punishments, if the guilt of its crimes shall have brought it down to this." (Origen Of First Things preface, chap. 6)

170-236 AD HIPPOLYTUS: "The Gentiles, by faith in Christ, prepare for themselves eternal life through good works." (Hippolytus Fragments from Commentaries "On Proverbs.")

170-236 AD HIPPOLYTUS: "[Jesus], in administering the righteous judgment of the Father to all, assigns to each what is righteous according to his works.... Justification will be seen in the awarding to each that which is just; to those who have done well, there will be justly assigned eternal happiness. The lovers of wickedness will be assigned eternal punishment.... But the righteous will remember only the righteous deeds by which they reached the heavenly kingdom." (Hippolytus Against Plato sec. 3)

200-258 AD CYPRIAN: "To prophesy, to cast out demons, and to do great acts upon the earth are certainly a sublime and admirable thing. However, a person does not attain the Kingdom of Heaven even though he is found in all these things unless he walks in the observance of the right and just way. The Lord says, 'Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed other powerful works in your name? And then I will confess to them, I never knew you. Depart from me you workers of evil.' [Matt. 7:22,23] There is need of righteousness so one may deserve well of God the Judge. We must obey His precepts and warnings that our merits may receive their reward." (Cyprian Unity of the Church sec.16)


GEORGE WASHINGTON: "I will frankly and solemnly declare that I believe the views of both of you are pure and well meant; and that experience alone will decide with respect to the salubrity of measures which are the subject of dispute. Why then, when some of the best citizens in the United States, men of discernment, uniform and tried patriots, who have no sinister views to promote, but are chaste in their ways of thinking and acting, are to be found some on one side and some on the other of the questions which have caused these agitations, should either of you be so tenacious of your opinions as to make no allowances for those of the other?...I have a great, a sincere esteem and regard for you both, and ardently wish that some line could be marked out by which both of you could walk." --George Washington, to Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson.

GEORGE WASHINGTON: "An option is still left to the United States of America... whether they will be respectable and prosperous, or contemptible and miserable [because of sectionalism, bickering within the Cabinet, forming of political parties], as a nation. This is the time of their political probation." --George Washington

AN ANONYMOUS PREACHER: This preacher was interviewing with a congregation for the preacher position, having sent tapes and copies of his lessons, etc. The interviews were very favorable until the elders asked "What are your positions on the issues?" His answers were unsatisfactory, and within 12 hrs he received a msg thanking him, but that he was not "firm enough on the issues" and thus they ended the interviews. His response is as follows:

"What appears to be my lack of "firmness on the issues" is instead a strong philosophical disagreement over why and how these questions are being asked in the first place.  It is my own private, personal opinions that are being queried; these are not at all what I necessarily teach publicly.  What I teach publicly is what I understand to be in the best interest of the group; I would never intentionally press my own private views upon a group that was not prepared to receive them, or in such a way that would be divisive.  I have every right to hold private views.  And I *never* try to be controversial just for the sake of being controversial.

Mostly, I was asked Saturday:  "Where do you stand on the issues?"  This approach disturbs me.  If "issues" are our primary concern, then what kind of disciples will we generate?  I ought to be asked:  where do I stand on the gospel?  Unfortunately, many in the brotherhood confuse "issues" to be the "gospel." 

...Even if I am still declined, I would recommend strongly that you (elders) reconsider what you are looking for in a preacher, and how you are looking for him.  If anyone who disagrees with the elders' consensus on the "issues" is automatically disqualified, this says a lot about where your congregation will always be, and beyond which it will never grow. 

People cannot claim to want spiritual growth, then demand it only on their own terms, per their own present, unchangeable logic.  Where's the growth in that?  This instead becomes a control issue based on fear (of what "might" happen if people start thinking for themselves) versus trusting in the Spirit's guidance (Gal 5:16).  Fear inhibits growth, never promotes it.  Acting in love and wisdom is a far superior--and biblical--approach, if a group is courageous enough to pursue it. I say these things out of respect for your group, not in anger.  I want your congregation to be successful, regardless of whether or not I am part of that success."


110-165AD JUSTIN MARTYR: "We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, chastisements, and rewards are rendered according to the merit of each man's actions. Otherwise, if all things happen by fate, then nothing is in our own power. For if it be predestined that one man be good and another man evil, then the first is not deserving of praise or the other to be blamed. Unless humans have the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions-whatever they may be.... For neither would a man be worthy of reward or praise if he did not of himself choose the good, but was merely created for that end. Likewise, if a man were evil, he would not deserve punishment, since he was not evil of himself, being unable to do anything else than what he was made for." (Justin First Apology chap. 43)

185-255 AD ORIGEN: "He makes Himself known to those who, after doing all that their powers will allow, confess that they need help from Him." (Origen Against Celsus bk. 7, chap. 42)

190 AD CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA: "A man by himself working and toiling at freedom from sinful desires achieves nothing. But if he plainly shows himself to be very eager and earnest about this, he attains it by the addition of the power of God. God works together with willing souls. But if the person abandons his eagerness, the spirit from God is also restrained. To save the unwilling is the act of one using compulsion; but to save the willing, that of one showing grace." (Clement Salvation of the Rich Man chap. 21)

190 AD CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA: "Neither praise nor condemnation, neither rewards nor punishments, are right if the soul does not have the power of choice and avoidance, if evil is involuntary." (Clement Miscellanies bk. 1, chap. 17)

250-300 AD ARCHELAUS: "All the creatures that God made, He made very good. And He gave to every individual the sense of free will, by which standard He also instituted the law of judgment.... And certainly whoever will, may keep the commandments. Whoever despises them and turns aside to what is contrary to them, shall yet without doubt have to face this law of judgment.... There can be no doubt that every individual, in using his own proper power of will, may shape his course in whatever direction he pleases." (Archelaus Disputation With Manes sees. 32, 33)

260-315 AD METHODIUS: "Those [pagans] who decide that man does not have free will, but say that he is governed by the unavoidable necessities of fate, are guilty of impiety toward God Himself, making Him out to be the cause and author of human evils. " (Methodius The Banquet of the Ten Virgins discourse 8, chap. 16)


(This lengthy quotation is dynamite in that it shows God preparing for the fullness of time in the matter of currency. Even this secular writer speaks about the effect on the spread of Christianity in the article).

("The History of Money," Jack Weatherford): "Something similar to money and something resembling markets can be found in Mesopotamia, China, Egypt, and many other parts of the world, but they did not actually use coins until the rise of [the kingdom of] Lydia [near Troy] and the subsequent minting of the first coins, between 640 and 630 BC. The genius of the Lydian kings can be seen in their recognition of the need for very small and easily transported ingots worth no more than a few days' labor or a small part of a farmer's harvest. By making these small ingots in a standardized size and weight, and by stamping on them an emblem that verified their worth to even the illiterate, the kinds of Lydia exponentially expanded the possibilities of commercial enterprise.

The Lydians made the first coins of electrum, a naturally occurring mixture of gold and silver.

...By making the nuggets the same weight and thus approximately the same size, the king eliminated one of the most time-consuming steps in commerce: the need to weigh the gold each time a transaction was made. Now merchants could assess the value by tale, or by simply counting the number of coins. Such standardization greatly reduced the opportunity for cheating on the amount or quality of gold and silver in an exchange. One did not need to be an expert in handling a scale or in judging the purity of metal in order to buy a basket of wheat, a pair of sandals, or an amphora of olive oil. The use of coins that had been weighed and stamped in the royal workshop made it possible for commerce to proceed much more rapidly and honestly and it allowed people to participate even if they did not own a scale. The commerce of coins opened up new dimensions for new segments of the population.

...The variety and abundance of commercial goods quickly led to another innovation: the retail market. Rather than leaving buyers to seek out the home of someone who might have oil or jewelry to sell, the kings of Sardis set up an innovative new system in which anyone, even a stranger, with something to sell could come to a central market [a marketplace of booths, shops, etc-PM]. ...This market system began in the late seventh century BC...

...The commercial revolution in the city of Sardis provoked widespread changes throughout Lydian society. Herodotus reported with great amazement the Lydian custom of allowing women to choose their own husbands. Through the accumulation of coins, women became free to make their own dowries and thus had greater freedom in selecting a husband.

...The uniqueness of Greek culture, in contrast to that of Persia and Egypt, did not rest on the heavy-handed authority of the state supported by a massive army... The greatness of Greece came as a by-product of the monetary and mercantile revolution from Lydia, the introduction of money, modern markets, and wholesale and retail distribution.

Money made possible the organization of society on a scale much greater and far more complex than either kinship or force could have achieved... A [pre-monetary] tributary system could easily include millions of people divided into provinces and classes and administered by a bureaucracy with a well-established system of keeping records [such as the Egyptians-PM]. The use of money does not require the face-to-face interaction and the intense relationships of a kinship-based system. Nor does it require such extensive administrative, police, and military systems. ...Money connected humans in a more extensive and more efficient way than any other known medium. It created more social ties, but in making them faster and more transitory, it weakened the traditional ties based on kinship and political power.

Money also became the medium for the expression of more values, making a great leap forward when its use was expanded from the realm of articles and commodities to something as abstract as work. ...A man or woman might be paid for cleaning out the stables, for a day's work at the spinning wheel... As money became the standard value for work, it was also becoming the standard of value for time itself.

...The value of a work of art or a musical performance could be as easily expressed in terms of money as could the value of a goat or an apple...

With the rapid monetarization of value, virtually everything could be expressed terms of a common denominator -- money. In this way, a system of shared values was established to calculate the value of virtually everything from a loaf of bread to a poem, from an hour's sexual service to taxes, or from a rack of lamb to a month's rent. everything could be expressed within the terms of one simplified system...

(Georg] Simmel wrote that 'those professional classes whose productivity lies outside the economy proper have emerged only in the money economy -- those concerned with specific intellectual activity such as teachers and literary people, artists, physicians, scholars, and state officials'...

The Greeks, however broken through this [stagnant, pre-monetary tributary system] barrier. Suddenly, architecture, philosophy, science, literature, and the other arts and sciences soared to a level of attainment unknown to any earlier civilization...

Everywhere that money went it created marketplaces. Money created a new urban geography by giving rise to towns and cities centered on the market rather than the palace. The exchange of goods necessitated new commercial routes over land and sea from one urban nodule to the next, thereby linking Greece and neighboring lands in a new web of commerce.

This new social network founded on commerce and money gave rise to a new political system. Philip of Macedonia saw an opportunity to bring all these interconnected points together into a united kingdom under his rule. His son, Alexander, expanded this system to parts of the world that had not yet been fully incorporated into the new commercial culture. As he conquered new lands, Alexander founded new commercial cities, which he often named for himself, that would unite that land to the expanding commercial world of his empire...

Because of Alexander, Greek became the language of commerce. Merchants on the Nile Delta, on the island of Sicily, along the coast of Tunisia, and in the cities of Israel used Greek as the trade language... The merchants used a simple, almost pidginized form of shop Greek, but this language proved capable of conveying great ideas far beyond the needs of simple market exchange. The marketplaces of the Mediterranean became focal points for discussing a new kind of religion. The followers of Jesus used the simplified market Greek to spread their ideas from one market center to another...

Prior to the rise of the Greek commercial system each country had its own gods. The gods of the Egyptians were different from those of the Greeks, the Persians, and the Hebrews. The common commercial culture, however, provided an opportunity for the rise of a common religion, open to all people. Christianity blazed through the cities of the Mediterranean as a totally new and revolutionary concept in religion... It was the first religion that sought to leap over the social and cultural divisions among people and unite them in a single world religion. Its followers actively sought to make Christianity a universal religion; they did so in much the same way that money was creating a universal economy." (Jack Weatherford, "The History of Money," Crown Publ., NY, 1997, pg 30-45)